Pumpkin spice season: Will fall’s favorite flavor take over every store shelf?


With the announcement of Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte coming to the refrigerated section, pumpkin spice season is almost here. But, will fall’s favorite flavor take over every store shelf?

Even though it is still summer, everyone is yearning for pumpkin spice season. From the Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte to the pumpkin pie M&Ms, fall’s favorite flavor is everywhere. Pumpkin is the quintessential fall flavor, but does pumpkin have to invade everything?

A quick look around a grocery store, Amazon or any retailer shows that  pumpkin flavors everywhere. It started as a love affair Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte. People anxiously awaited the day when Starbucks would crack the bottle of pumpkin spice flavoring. A whiff of the warm, spicy aroma conjures visions of turning colors, cool days and everything fall.

Pumpkin spice flavors are now in cereal (Cheerios), M&Ms. Jell-o Pudding, Extra Gum, Planters Nuts, coffee creamers, cookies and so many more that it would take too long to list. If you’re not hungry, many home products come in pumpkin spice scents too. From candles to room refreshers, everything and anything in the home can have a taste of fall.

But, no one is waiting for that first brisk, September evening to begin pumpkin spice season. That favorite latte doesn’t come with the first taste of fall, it comes with a side of summer’s last fling. Instead of that summer wheat beer at the beach, grab a pumpkin ale.

Let’s be honest, companies know that people crave pumpkin spice flavors. Maybe the aroma evokes a special family memory, like Thanksgiving pumpkin pie or a warm cider around Halloween. Whatever the reason, companies wouldn’t be selling pumpkin spice everything if people weren’t buying the products.

Since pumpkin flavors are (or should be) available for a limited season, the companies need to capitalize on that small window. Which means, every year pumpkin spice offerings appear earlier and earlier. Think of pumpkin spice season like Christmas decorations. Every year the stores start putting those items up just a little earlier. Anyone see Christmas decorations yet?

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I’m not bashing pumpkin spice. Truthfully, I like the warmth, earthy, spicy notes that are associated with pumpkin spice. But, I want my pumpkin spice season in the fall. Sorry, for me, it’s still summer and I want to enjoy my sweet corn and watermelon.